Alex’s Analysis – Classic Conundrums

posted by on 14th March 2017, at 1:42am

NOTE: Spoilers. You know the drill. Do the quest, then read the article. Do the quest now. You shouldn’t even be reading this if you haven’t done the quest yet; the quest isn’t that boring. Do it! DO IT! QUUUEEEEEEST!

It’s not often the Jagex production team surprises us with an update they intentionally left us in the dark for. I mean, with their Twitch live-streams and the reddit and all sorts of fan-sites digging at their behind-the-scenes hints via pixels in the corner, that gets difficult. But they managed it. Simply by not saying anything. Who’d have thought?

Anyways, we got a new penguin quest! Penguins have got a new method of trying to freeze the world of Gielinor over. It’s your job to stop them! They made a flying ice box that was launched into the air and crashed into the desert, where it’s bothering the local crocodiles so much it warrants your involvement! So… get to it!

Of course, any sane adventurer would run in with a noxious scythe, whirlwind the penguins into tomorrow’s brunch, and fire wave the thing alongside the god Armadyl (for the at-the-end bro-fist) until it explodes violently. Fortunately, we’re not sane. We decide that the best way to stop this thing from freezing Runescape over is to travel back in time and stop it from getting built! So then it won’t crash into the desert! So then we wouldn’t have to stop it! Save the gators!

…don’t give me that look. We’re fighting against penguins for crying out loud! Penguins!

It wasn’t a mind-boggling, game-changing quest at all. Story-wise, it wasn’t super involved, and didn’t really progress the actual penguin story-line in any dynamic way save for another . The puzzles weren’t super challenging or convoluted, and there was a lot of item gathering involved. Basically, it was a quest straight from the Old School Runescape days. Heck, I wouldn’t even be surprised if a copy of that quest suddenly appeared on OSRS.

And that’s good! Very good for a quest? Not for nostalgic reasons; that’s simply a cherry on top.

First up, it was simple. It used older assets that included character models, reused textures and areas, and a whole lot of copy/pasted items with revised names. That meant that it didn’t take very much in terms of design-work and assets to make, meaning that it could be made relatively faster than most of the high-quality content released as “big update”. Not only that, a smaller team would be required for this caliber of update, meaning that they could continue developing the larger updates without much deviation.

Second, it was silly. Cheesy puns, awesome references, ridiculous story-line. It wasn’t a quest you were really supposed to take seriously because, unlike the Gods and Elder Gods, the penguins really don’t pose that huge of a threat to the Runescape world. It was nice to take a break from the epics of the God Wars series to just mess around with a bunch of flightless birds and break reality just enough to make us not take anything seriously for a bit. Which, with a video game, is what you’re sort of supposed to do anyways.

Third, it’s a callback to an older, somewhat forgotten series for the older players. Players who have been following Runescape for a while had already completed these quests a long time ago. After a while, the series becomes a memory due to lack of landmark reminders (eg: missing statue in Falador, grown Varrock garden, underground White Wolf Mountain cave, etc). It gets worse when these kinds of quests take place on areas that hardly anybody goes to afterwards. Unless you decide to create a new account just to do quests again; especially on the members side (because you’d have to pay for membership on another account if you wanted to replay anything). So when quest-lines are continued and presented with the old nostalgic areas and such, like this quest did with the underground bunker and somewhat reorganized layout, all those memories come back and stories resurface once again. It becomes like reading a book you had already read five years ago; you remember bits and pieces, but only so much that it becomes a whole new experience again.

So yeah, this was a good quest. Made me laugh, at least. Here’s hoping we get more of these to give greater substance to the Runescape world. A lot more. Having a big frozen section in the middle of the desert and the Lumbridge crater filled in is a pretty big dynamic. Here’s to a quest that potentially turns Edgeville into Ghost Town again!

… seriously, can we do that? I’m not into PKing. Y’all got Bounty Hunter and Clan Wars and stuff; not to mention the Grand Exchange. Just take out that north wall and move the KBD pad over a smidgen and you can probably do anything you want to the old town.

Until next time,

Cheers, cannoneers!

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